I've been drawing and painting as long as I can remember, copying comic book panels as a kid, a career as a designer and animator, and the last twelve years as a painter. Hope you enjoy the work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


6x8 Oil

A small painting I did this fall, I really liked the movement in this scene, the leaves seem to be exploding off of the birch tree.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Old Ford

11x14 Oil

I don't know why but these old trucks are a popular subject matter, for both painters and the public. It must have something to do with their cartoony shape and aged finish, each one seems to have a unique personality. I painted this in Door County Wisconsin last summer and finally photographed it this week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fast Water

9x12 Oil

It's funny, the actual creek and rocks are so unremarkable in person, but somehow turned out looking rather dramatic in the painting. I wasn't intentionally going for that I was just trying to make everything look wet, that's my rule of thumb with water "when it looks wet, stop".

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Grand Island, Michigan Paintings

This past August I spent 2 weeks in Michigan's Hiawatha National Forest as the Artist in Residence, above is most of the work completed.

October Meadow

11x14 Oil

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Fridays

This is a new event that the studios in my neighborhood are promoting, I'll be open this Friday.

Puako or Looking for Neil Young

11x14 Oil

Yes I was back in Hawaii last month, it was awesome. This is a new vantage point to a place I've painted in the past Puako Beach which is a great public beach on the Big Island, that's a little redundant since all the beaches are publicly owned. This one is just gorgeous, if anything I didn't get that water colorful enough, it was glowing. Oh yeah, Neil Young lives around here somewhere, I don't blame him.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Summer's Work

Telluride Valley Floor 11x14 Oil

This was done last July while participating in the Telluride Plein Air Event. The best compliment I received during the show was from a 10 year old boy who recognized these rocks and pointed out to his parents where they were and that he likes to jump off off the one in the middle. That's one problem with a painting that doesn't have a human figure in it for scale, the large rocks are 4 feet high, and I'm not sure people got that, except for that boy. Telluride is an amazing place and I hope to paint there again.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Catching Up

Cottage Steps 11x14 Oil

In no particular order I thought I'd start posting some paintings from the Summer's travels. This painting is also from the Michigan Artist in Residency, these are the steps to the Farrell Cottage on Grand Island which is where I stayed for 2 weeks. An odd painting but a favorite from the trip. Those damp mossy steps seem to evoke memories of a family vacation/camping experience, at least here in the Midwest. I was really happy with the ferns.

Just another note on the title change for the blog, "brush mileage" refers to the amount of years/paintings/experiences we accumulate pursuing this insane lifestyle, as well as reflecting the increasing amount of travel tied to my painting. I'll be back in Hawaii next month and I have a trip to the Yucatan planned for next February, so I'll get no sympathy when I complain about the cold weather in January.

To paraphrase Thomas Hart Benton, "Being a painter is the greatest job in the world, it's just the first 20 years that are rough"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Blog Title ... or I'm Back

Titanic 11x14 Oil

Well what can I say, it's been awhile. I changed the title of the blog since it hasn't been a painting a day site for months, it hasn't been much of a blog at all. Since my last entry I've been to Telluride Colorado and Door County Wisconsin for plein air events and spent 2 weeks on Grand Island doing an Artist's in Residence through the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I'll blog more on those experiences, the image above was painted in Michigan, while painting this old iron fishing boat I was approached by a local, and as often happens I was provided with the back story to my subject. The boat is referred to as Titanic and surprisingly is still in use, recently to haul rocks used to reinforce a shoreline along Lake Superior and prevent a lighthouse's foundation from being eroded away.

More soon, I promise

Saturday, June 27, 2009


11x14 Oil

On the road to Telluride with Scott Llyod Anderson, we stopped at the Badlands National Park in South Dakota to paint. It is such an amazing landscape that only having time to do one painting there is a tease, but is was good to move the brushes and a nice warm up for the Plein Air event next week. I'm in Erie Colorado as I write this, tomorrow we're going paint somewhere along the way to Telluride, subject matter shouldn't be a problem as we cross the continental divide.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Grand Cottonwood

6x8 Oil

This small painting was done Saturday during my outdoor class. A student wanted to work on pulling form out of a big cottonwood tree so I said I would paint the same one, soon the entire class was lined up painting the same tree. It's a worthy subject, this tree dominates the Bruce Vento Park here in St. Paul.

I'm off to Colorado on Thursday for the Telluride Plein Air Event, I'll try to post from there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rock Flow


Another Lake Superior shoreline, I could paint these for years and not get bored, they're so deceptively simply, but actually contain an amazing variety of shape and color. I love how bright the lake can get in certain light conditions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lake's Edge

14x18 Oil

A student from last week's workshop sent me a couple of pics of the demo I did, so I'm including the in-progress image. I love to paint these rock formations, they're beautiful and challenging. I think I need a new painting jacket.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Artist's Point in the Morning

11x14 Oil

I painted this on the last day of the workshop, it was the best weather and most consistent light effect of the week so it was really fun to pull the form out of those rocks. For all the times I've painted in Grand Marais I've never put the Lighthouse in , so that was kind of fun. The water was incredibly blue with the sun over my left shoulder, very little glare just rich Ultramarine Blue.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grand Marais Minnesota Workshop

Painting at Artist's Point

I just got back to town after teaching a 4 day workshop with my friend and fellow plein air painter Neil Sherman. The weather was good if a little chillier than a prefer my Junes. It's an amazing bit of the Lake Superior shoreline, full of interesting ancient volcanic rock formations, completely different than Superior's south shore which is full of sand dunes. The photos above
should give you a feel for the week, the man in blue painting is Neil giving a demo on the first morning as a fog bank rolled in, note the roll of paper towels in the back pocket. I did a little painting as well and will post those this week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summit Alley

9x12 Oil

Painted this on Tuesday evening, I'd walked past this spot countless times the past year and I knew the light I wanted to capture and this is it. So many times I set out with a painting in mind and wind up with something completely different, for better or worse, but with this painting I got just what I had in my head.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Late Light on Lava

18x24 Oil

This is a studio piece I did of the large chunks of red lava that make up much of the western slope on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's funny, the grass growing around the lava looks so soft and inviting in the painting, actually it felt like course steel wool. Planning a return trip back to the isles in November.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Crazy Greens

9x12 Oil

Well I have been painting, I just haven't been very good about posting. It was 97 degrees yesterday and the fresh new greens everywhere were shimmering. This was painted at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, which is becoming a favorite haunt. For the three of you that still check this page from time to time, I intend to increase the postings.

Note: I've added a link to my buddy Dave Esmond's band The August Teens, check it out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Art Crawl this Weekend

Framing and hanging for the show this weekend, hope you can make it. For complete info visit www.artcrawl.org, back to work.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Creek Colors

11x14 Oil

Well since the move I've been working in the studio finishing up a few paintings for the Saint Paul Art Crawl, which is a studio tour that takes place this weekend. For more info on that you can go to www.Artcrawl.org , it's a three day event with a couple hundred of open studios. It's fun to rework some of these paintings that I liked parts of but needed a little changes in composition or color , etc. I have to admit I also messed up a couple in the process but that's the risk you have to take. Hope some of you come by the studio to see the paintings in person, I'm in the Northern Warehouse Building, 308 Prince St. #510.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm Back, or Did I really say painting a day?

Actually I have pretty good excuse for my blogging absence, as excuses go. The last couple of weeks I moved, and when you live in your studio it's quite the ordeal. I do recommend that everyone occasionally go through every single thing they own and toss out or give away about a third of it, that's basically what I've done, massive streamlining. I was in my old live/work space for 6 years and that it turns out was plenty of time to accumulate all sorts of stuff thinking "I'll use that someday".

The new space is fantastic, great light, high ceilings, 1800 sq. ft. I'm still settling in, (and purging stuff) but it's going to be a bright happy place to live and work, I also have more room to teach classes in which is an added benefit. Snapped a couple of pics to post, I'm painting again, a little rusty I admit, so I'll post some new work soon.

The paintings on the brick wall are hung on random existing nails, I'm installing a hanging system so I don't pepper that great cream brick with more holes. The Saint Paul Art Crawl is coming up April 24th-26th and I look forward to displaying in the new space.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Artist's Point

8x10 Oil

Yes this scene is a little out of season, it's a small painting I started last July in Grand Marais Minnesota. I've been thinking of it lately due to the workshop I'm teaching, (along with Neil Sherman) and decided to finish it from memory. I love painting the rock formations on Artist's Point and was I liked the rhythm of the opposing angles in this composition. If you would like information 0n the Workshop, June 11th-14th, email me with "Grand Marais" in the subject line.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

6x8 Oil

Beautiful morning, a couple of more days like this and the ice will be off the lakes. Off to have a Guinness.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mid March

8x10 Oil

I really liked the bright yellow clumps of reeds against the cool top plane of the snow on the pond. Simple perhaps but sometimes the hardest part is to keep it simple.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Credit River

8x10 Oil

I wish it had a more poetic name, but you can only use "Spring Thaw" so many times. The temperatures are climbing and it occurred to me this could be the final snow painting of the winter, then I remembered that I live in Minnesota and I'll have at least 2 more snowfalls by April.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Grand Marais from Pin Cushion

9x12 Oil

An amazing light effect on Lake Superior, I had to work quickly to capture it as the sun set behind my right shoulder.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Clear Water Lake

12x16 Oil

Well it's been a while since I blogged. I've been in Grand Marais Minnesota since Saturday painting with my buddy Neil Sherman (see The Lure of the North Shore blog below). He took me to Clear Water Lake, which is on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, very close to Canada to paint these huge palisades. Below is a snapshot Neil took of me, it looks like I'm on the edge of the world, guess I was. Neil and I are going to do a joint workshop in Grand Marais this summer, I should have the dates worked out this week.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coat Tree

8x10 Oil

Sort of a bleak little painting on a gray dreary day in the Twin Cities. After working all morning on a large studio landscape I decided to take advantage of the soft light filtering through the studio window and set up this composition.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Schulze Lake

10x10 Oil

I painted this out at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, it has a great trail system and just as I was cleaning up a cross country skier looked at it and said it need to put the ski tracks in. I did and it was the perfect finishing touch.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Old Hat

6x8 Oil

My neighbor the artist Teresa Cox moved last week and was getting rid of these Samsonite suitcases which have to be from the 50's. As painting subject matter I thought it needed another element so plopped a hat on the end of one. Nice thing about these small paintings is you don't over think them. I didn't hit me until I started to paint, but I did a series of hat paintings 25 years ago when I was in college.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mouse Tracks

6x8 Oil

I do love to paint snow on rocks, it helps balance out the "I live in a climate with 5 1/2 months of winter" thing. It was 0 degrees when we went out to paint this morning but it was sunny and there was no wind, I never felt cold. Wind trumps temperature every time.